One of the benefits of living in Wisconsin and working in Illinois is that I am surrounded by a ton of political gossip. It is kind of fun.
By the way, they call him Blago down in Illinois.
Clearly they are both part of the same democrat political machine in Illinois. But beyond that, how well did they know each other?
The Obama spinners are getting dizzy spinning their tall tales attempting to distance themselves from Blago.
Political Punch has a nice litany of mis-statements and re-statements of the Obama team on exactly how involved Barack Obama and Blago are with each other.
Obama has completely denied even speaking to the governor about the Senate appointment.
However, Obama's senior adviser was singing a different tune a couple of weeks ago:
Axelrod said, "I know he's talked to the governor and there are a whole range of
names many of which have surfaced, and I think he has a fondness for a lot of
The Obama team has issued a statement saying Axelrod misspoke.
Obama appeared to be a top adviser for the Blago campaign in 2002 and endorsed him even after the whole Rezko mess broke free in 2006.
And, it should be pointed out, Mr. Obama has a relationship with Mr.
Blagojevich, having not only endorsed Blagojevich in 2002 and 2006, but
having served as a top adviser to the Illinois governor in his first 2002
run for the state house.
Of course, Obama's role in this was "over-stated"
According to Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., Mr. Obama's incoming White House
chief of staff, Emanuel, then-state senator Obama, a third Blagojevich aide, and
Blagojevich's campaign co-chair, David Wilhelm, were the top strategists of
Blagojevich's 2002 gubernatorial victory.
Emanuel told the New Yorker earlier this year that he and Obama
"participated in a small group that met weekly when Rod was running for
governor. We basically laid out the general election, Barack and I and these
Wilhelm said that Emanuel had overstated Obama's role. "There was an
advisory council that was inclusive of Rahm and Barack but not limited to them,"
Wilhelm said, and he disputed the notion that Obama was "an architect or one of
the principal strategists."
So- did Obama talk to Blago and were those conversations recorded???
That would be interesting to find out. Also, if Obama's team was talking to Blago- did they go to the authorities once they knew that Blago was attempting to sell the seat?
In fact, there are indications that Mr. Obama and his team refused to go
along with the "pay to play" way Blagojevich is accused of operating, offering
only "gratitude" if the governor appointed his friend Valerie Jarrett to take
his U.S. Senate seat, much to the governor's chagrin.
But there remain questions about how Blagojevich knew that Mr. Obama was
not willing to give him anything in exchange for the Senate seat -- with whom
was Blagojevich speaking? Did that person report the governor to the